COVID News Digest - October 2021 | World Obesity Federation

COVID News Digest - October 2021

NewsCOVID News Digest - October 2021

We are compiling stories from credible sources representing all regions of the world, including academic articles, position statements and mainstream news, amongst others.

Covid report: Minister accused of scapegoating after blaming death toll on obesity rather than the Governmenti News

Science Minister George Freeman’s claim that the UK’s high COVID-19 death toll is due to high obesity rates was rebuked by experts including Dr David Strain, clinical lead for Covid services at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. Freeman made the claim in response to a report by the cross-party Science and Technology Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee which found serious failings in the UK government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Strain pointed to Saudi Arabia as an example of a country with higher obesity rates than the UK, but a more successful COVID-19 response.

Native Hawaiian children were already grappling with poor health and food insecurity. Then came COVID-19 – USA Today

Young Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have seen their health worsen dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, with extreme weight gain being a major concern. Hawaii’s food costs per person are the highest of all US states, and for many families on low incomes, fresh produce was already a luxury. The economic and social impacts of COVID-19 mean more people than ever are resorting to cheap fast food and rice dishes, fuelling an existing crisis of children’s health, and highlighting inequities in the region.

Obesity Made Even Mild COVID Worse – MedPage Today

People living with overweight or obesity experience more and longer-lasting symptoms of COVID-19, even when they have a mild case of the illness, a study has found. Pia Pannaraj, MD (University of Southern California) and colleagues found that 59% of COVID-19 patients in these categories were symptomatic compared to 47% who were not. Notably, the difference was even more pronounced among adolescents (67% vs. 34%).

Covid in Scotland: Stigma of obesity ‘must be addressed’ The Times

Research by Ipsos Mori has revealed that people living with obesity felt happier during lockdown because they did not have to face public scrutiny and weight bias. The study found that people living with obesity are almost twice as likely to suffer from poor mental health and calls attention to weight stigma in the UK.

Rise of chronic illness in India due to physical inactivity during Covid-19 lockdowns – Clinical Trials Arena

Physical activity levels have fallen in India during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 57% of people exercising less than the amount recommended by the World Health Organization. Lockdowns, social distancing, and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are said to have contributed to a rise in obesity, which has been associated with high rates of type 2 diabetes and endometrial cancer in the country. GlobalData epidemiologists warn that rates of these diseases could rise beyond current estimates and put serious strain on the Indian healthcare system.

Nearly 10K minors with comorbidities vaxxed vs. Covid-19Philippine News Agency

Children living with obesity were among those eligible for a pilot paediatric vaccination rollout in the Philippines this month. Almost 10,000 children with comorbidities were inoculated against COVID-19 over a two-week period in October and will be monitored for a month for adverse reactions. Once analysis of the pilot is complete, the scheme will be rolled out nationwide.

Covid fears prompting more obese people to get stomach reduction surgeries – NL Times

Requests for gastric bypass surgery in the Netherlands have increased significantly during the pandemic. Patient concern over the dangers of COVID-19 is thought to have led to the increase in people seeking medical assistance, which has been acknowledged in clinics across the country.